University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Works: Volume 5 Issue 1 - September 17, 2009

UPCOMING EVENTS

JAG RECRUITING ROUNDTABLE AT DUQUESNE LAW SCHOOL

Adam Lutz, the President of the Military Law Society at Duquesne Law School would like to formally invite University of Pittsburgh Law Students to a JAG recruiting roundtable at Duquesne University School of Law at 5:00 p.m. on the September 22, 2009.  The event will take place in Hanley Hall (the law school) in room 303. Recruiters from the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps will answer students' questions regarding military internships, career opportunities, and other concerns involving JAG.

G-20 GLOBAL ISSUES DISCUSSION

Are you curious about the global issues that will be discussed during the G-20?
Then join the Education Committee of the Young Lawyers Division on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 for a Lunch and Learn at 12:00 noon in the Academy Room at the ACBA's offices on the ninth floor of the City-County Building.  Our featured speaker will be Fr. John Sawicki. Fr. Sawicki is a political science professor at Duquesne University. He is also a lecturer at the Marshal Center for European Security in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he lectures on ethical and moral constraints on the use of force, ethics and national security policy decision making in the Program for Advanced Security Studies, and on counter-terrorism in the Program for Terrorism and Security Studies.

The discussion will last one hour and lunch will be provided. All ACBA members are invited to attend. Please RSVP to Tara Stevens Rodrigues at tstevens@mbrolaw.com by Monday, September 21, 2009.

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at the Rivers Club in Oxford Centre, downtown.

The reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Michael Machen, Allegheny County Chief Public Defender, will be honored with the "El Sol" Award.  The event will feature hors d'oeuvres as well as a Spanish flamenco dancer and guitar duo. 

JOB SEARCHING BEYOND OCI:  FOCUSED COUNSELING SESSIONS

Monday September 28th-Wednesday, October 7th    (By appointment)

Perhaps you weren't interested in the types of employers participating in Fall OCI or maybe it didn't work out as you had planned.  It is easy to feel left out of the Fall job searching hustle and bustle.  And it is all too easy to feel disappointed about Fall OCI and give up on your job search.  Now is a great time to meet with a CSO counselor to help you focus/refocus your energies on your job search.  Beginning Tuesday, September 22nd, 2L and 3L students can stop by Room 235 to schedule an appointment or email dschoch@pitt.edu.  If your schedule does not permit a meeting during this time period, students are welcome to schedule an appointment on another date. 

ABA SECTION OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW COMMITTEE ON PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE UNDER NLRA 
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
, at 2:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the offices of the National Labor Relations Board's Region 6 in downtown Pittsburgh at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Room 904, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. (A photo ID is required for entry into the Federal Building.)

The P&P Committee focuses on procedural labor law issues, such as representation election processes, card check and neutrality agreements, and other issues relating to the procedures that may affect the representation of employees. For more information or to RSVP (by October 1), contact Michael Healey at mike@unionlawyers.net or Richard F. Shaw at rfshaw@jonesday.com.

ACBA PROGRAM:  USING RELATIONSHIP MARKETING TO DEVELOP BUSINESS

Wednesday, October 7th, 9th Floor auditorium, City County Building

The ACBA Women in the Law Division and the Diversity Collaborative are co- sponsoring a special program entitled Using Relationship Marketing to Develop Business on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 over lunch in the 9th floor auditorium of the City County Building.  This is the final installment of the career advancement series: Yes You Can! Creating Your Personal Roadmap for a Successful Legal Career which began in October 2008.

The program will be given by Sandra Solomon, principal of Sandra Solomon Associates, who has advised many women-owned businesses, lawyers and other professionals on the key components of a successful marketing plan.   In keeping with the prior focus of the series to offer concrete advice to practitioners, the program will address four main areas:  Targeting Audiences, Relationship Marketing, Individual and Practice "Brand" Building and Business Planning.  In addition, you will get tips on "working the room" at a social event, entertaining clients and prospects, and developing and implementing a strategic business plan.  Differences in marketing associated with gender will be addressed from the standpoint of woman attorneys seeking to do business with male clients and the comfort level of women clients in dealing with male attorneys. Panelists joining Ms. Solomon will be Rosa Copeland Miller, a trial attorney with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, and Julie Meder, an intellectual property attorney with The Webb Law Firm, who will share some of their own success stories - and struggles -- with marketing.   Lunch will be provided from 11:30 - 12, and the presentation and discussion will run from 12-1:30. All attendees are encouraged to bring business cards as time for networking will be provided at each session.  The cost is $10 per session.  RSVP for the session by October 2 to Marlene Ellis at 412.402.6611 or mellis@acba.org.

 ACBA SPONSORED CLEs  

 "Valuing Employment Cases."  Registration: 8:00 a.m. Program: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Cost: $30. When: Tuesday, September 29, 2009. Where: USPO & Courthouse, Seventh Avenue and Grant Street, Courtroom 6A, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. To register, visit www.acba.org

 "The Supreme Court's 2008-2009 Term: A Review and Analysis of the Key Labor and Employment Decisions."  Registration and lunch: 11:30 a.m. Program: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost: $15. When: Tuesday, October 6, 2009. Where: ACBA Conference Center Auditorium, 9th floor, City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. To register, visit www.acba.org

 

INTERVIEWING AT THE LAW FIRM

What information do you need to ask of the firm?  Politely request information regarding the interview structure (e.g., one-on-one with several attorneys, a panel, etc.), the length of time you can expect to be at the firm, whether additional documents are needed, where you should park, the employer's location within the building, who you should ask to see upon your arrival, and if the names of the interviewers will be available to you prior to the date of the interview.

 What does it mean to accommodate the firm?  Employers wanting to meet with you expect that you will accommodate their schedule and timeline. If you have previous engagements that can not be changed (e.g., you have another interview scheduled, you are getting married that Friday, you are speaking in front of the United Nations, etc.), it is appropriate to request an  accommodation.  DO NOT request an accommodation for a road trip with friends, a football game, or a birthday celebration.  If you are truly interested in the job, avoid sending the message that you prioritize other things or that you are high maintenance.  If the firm is inflexible with interview dates, you will need to make a decision as to how important this firm is to you.

 When should you arrive?  Punctuality requires arriving 10 minutes in advance of the scheduled interview.  In order to ensure your timely arrival you must account for several things, including traffic, parking availability at or near the employer's office and the ease with which you will actually find the employer if they are located in a large office building. Take a trial run before the day of your interview.

 Where do you put your "stuff?"  Overcoats, umbrellas, luggage-what do you do with these items if you find yourself toting them with you to the interview?  It is appropriate to ask the receptionist or the recruiter where you may place these items. Most employers have a coat closet near the reception area.  Leaving coats and umbrellas in your car is not an option. If the weather suggests it; take it.  It is common for firms to take students to interview lunches that are within walking distance, and you do not want attorneys scrambling to accommodate you with an umbrella in inclement weather.

 If you are interviewing out of town and you have luggage, check luggage at the hotel instead of taking it to the interview. If your flight and interview times make this impossible, notify the recruiting coordinator in advance that you may have your luggage with you so he can make arrangements for its storage. Luggage needs to be professional in appearance:  no gym bags, backpacks or book bags.  Every image you present must project "I am a professional who would represent your firm and clients well."

 What should you take with you?  You should bring multiple copies of a writing sample, transcript and reference list, and resume.  Also bring anything the employer specifically requested (such as a human resources application.)  These items can be carried in a leather portfolio, an attaché case or an unassuming briefcase.  If a woman carries a leather portfolio, she may also need to carry a small daytime professional handbag. Less is better.  Also, bring with you/be prepared with numerous questions for your varied interviewers (young associates, partners, recruiters, etc.)  Finally, troll the firm's website, the internet and Lexis or Westlaw for information about cases on which the firm is currently working.  If you are unfamiliar with these search tools, seek help from the Lexis or Westlaw rep; or come into our office for assistance.

 Start to finish.  The interview begins the moment you enter the building and continues until you exit. In larger office buildings, assume that every person on the elevator, in the restroom, and at the ATM is an attorney, a client or a staff member of the firm with which you are interviewing. Your demeanor must exude professionalism at all times.  You should be equally gracious and deferential to everyone you encounter. It's a good bet that the receptionist, the messenger, and the legal assistant know more about the practice of law than you and most definitely more about that particular employer's practice of law.

First & final gesture.  Your first and final gesture with each attorney you meet should be a firm, confident handshake (using only one hand) accompanied by deliberate eye contact (don't engage in a staring contest).  Gentlemen, you should not be gentler when shaking a woman's hand; it's offensive.  Even if you feel confident in your handshake, try it out on a friend or family member who will give you honest feedback. When done well, both the handshake and the eye contact suggest a high level of confidence.

 Where should you sit?  If it is not completely obvious as to where you should sit, wait for the interviewer to direct you or politely inquire as to where the interviewer prefers you sit.  As the interview comes to a close, do not rise from your chair prior to the interviewer making a gesture to rise.

 Thank you, but no thank you.  Do not ask for food and beverages during an interview. If you are traveling from attorney to attorney within the employer and one offers you a soda or water, decline politely. Think about what you will do with it. If you don't finish, do you leave it in his/her office? No. Do you take it with you to the next interviewer? No. Certainly if you need to use the restroom or to get a drink in between meetings with attorneys you can and should request to stop at the water fountain and/or restroom.

 By all means...  Do not take your cell phone into the firm with you, even if you are certain the ringer is off-it never is. It is annoying if it is ringing on your person and it is equally annoying if it is ringing from the depths of the coat closet. E

 Be gracious.  Within 24-48 hours of your interview (preferably 24 hours), you should send thank you letters.  The thank you correspondence should be on resume paper, with a header consistent with your cover letter and resume and should be formatted as a business letter. An alternative is a handwritten note.   An effective thank you letter is a concise, technically perfect, genuine statement of gratitude that is individualized to the interviewer that reaffirms your enthusiasm and qualifications for the position with that specific employer.

 Send thank you's to each individual with whom you interviewed.  Personalize each thank you by recalling specific aspects of your conversation or connections you made with the interviewer.  Please don't send a single thank you to the hiring partner requesting that the recipient extend your gratitude to everyone with whom you met.  Many interviewers expect to receive a well-written thank you after they meet with a student in the office and failure for you to send one may be notable.

 

HOW TO AFFORD SUMMER PUBLIC INTEREST WORK

 Public interest, government and legislative positions provide fantastic summer employment opportunities; however, many are not able to pay their summer law clerks.  There are several options available for students who secure public interest summer jobs:

Externships:  externships allow students to earn up to 4 academic credits (approximately 208 hours of work) for public interest work.  Note:  you do not have to pay summer tuition for externship credits. 

  • Timing:  research organizations and apply over winter break for summer positions.  Then send a well-crafted cover letter and resume to the employer and follow up 7-10 days later.  Send a thank you note after your interview.)  Please make an appointment with a career counselor or with Dean Kevin Deasy for more strategies and information

PLISF works hard all year (the snack table, the auction and law firm support) to generate money, which funds PLISF grants.  These grants provide a stipend conditioned on the number of hours worked with a non-profit agency or government organization. 

  • Timing:  Commitment to public interest is a year-long endeavor.  PLISF gives preference to students who consistently demonstrate public service and who additionally contribute to PLISF.  Applications are available in the Spring to students who have already secured public interest jobs by the time the application is due.  Begin your public interest search early:  make contacts in the Fall and continue to build these relationships over the Winter.

Equal Justice Works Summer Corp:  Summer Corps provides $1,000 educational vouchers to students who spend the summer providing direct services to low income communities.  Summer Corp members secure employment at sites of their choosing and work on a wide range of projects. Students may earn this voucher in addition to other funding. See www.equaljusticeworks.org for more information.

  • Timing:  EJW Summer Corp application is typically available in February to students who have secured public interest employment by this time.

Pittsburgh Foundation/K&L Gates Public Interest Fellowship Program*:  This program permits successful applicants to receive a $1,000/week stipend for four weeks of work at one of four Pittsburgh agencies.  Please see Mary Thinium for insider tips on completing the application.

  • Timing:  The application is due OCTOBER 9, 2009.

 Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship*:  These Fellowships are available at PA Legal Aid Network organizations.  PLAN awards 10 paid internships to current law students to participate in legal services work over a 10-week summer.  Please see http://www.palegalservices.org/mlk_program.htm for application requirements and list of participating organizations.

  • Timing:  There is no due date.  However, funding has already been set aside for additional fellowships this year.  Feel free to apply in late Fall.

 Peggy Browning Fund Fellowship*:  The Peggy Browning Fund Fellowship funds 25 summer fellowships in labor-related organizations across the country.  More information can be found at www.peggybrowningfund.org.

  • Timing:  Applications are due in early January.  However, as in years past, the funder reviews applications on a rolling basis beginning in December. 

 Harvard Law School's Handbook called Serving the Public:  this handbook is in the CSO resource center.  Chapter 8 outlines funding sources, some of which have geographical limitations (for work in a certain area of the world) or are subject-matter specific (for work involving certain groups.) 

 Split summers:  The HLS book also outlines split-summer opportunities:  in a split-summer, a 2L would secure summer employment with one of several listed firms.  The summer associate works for several weeks with the firm and several weeks at a public interest organization.  (Again, sometimes there are geographical and subject matter restrictions.  Please see the book for details.)

  •  Timing:  Typically you would apply for Summer 2010 employment during the Fall 2009.

 The Public Interest Law Program:  this program compiles a list of summer grants and fellowships.  The number of fellows, the term of employment, location and amount of stipend varies with each host organization.  Please see www.pic.org/pilp/summergrants.htm for more information.

  • Timing:  deadlines vary and range from early Fall to early Winter.  Please see the website for more information

 *This is not an exhaustive list of fellowships available for summer work.  Please see the CSO for additional options in different substantive areas of the law or in different areas of the country.

 

FEATURED SUMMER FELLOWSHIP

K&LNG Public Interest Fellowship Program.

  Each summer, the program awards up to three successful candidates a fellowship that enables them to spend four weeks of their summer working at one of four designated public interest organizations.

  • Allegheny Conference on Community Development Provides research, analysis, planning and development to improve the economy and quality of life in Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Education Law Center . Provides free legal assistance and advice to parents, advocates and other professionals on issues of public education.
  • KidsVoice. Provides legal representation to abused, neglected and other at-risk children.
  • Neighborhood Legal Services Association.   Provides legal representation to poor and vulnerable residents of Western Pennsylvania who have financial, landlord-tenant, domestic violence or other legal problems.

Fellowship Stipend
In 2007, each recipient will be paid a stipend of $1,000/week (less applicable taxes).  All stipend checks will be made payable to the student and mailed to the organizations at which they will be working.  K&LNG will pay a supplemental salary to any recipient who receives and accepts an offer to spend the remainder of the summer as a K&LNG summer associate.  The supplemental salary and stipend will equal the weekly salary of K&LNG's summer associates during the fellowship period.  K&LNG fellows however, are not required to spend the rest of the summer with K&LNG. 

Application Process
To be considered for a fellowship award, candidates must complete and submit an application, which is available in the CSO and due October 9, 2009. Subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of The Pittsburgh Foundation, an Advisory Committee recommends the fellowship recipients based on academic merit, demonstrated commitment to public service, other information provided through the application process and interviews with finalist candidates. Family members of Advisory Committee members are not eligible for this fellowship. The Pittsburgh Foundation will notify chosen fellowship recipients of its decision.  All stipend checks will be made payable to the fellow and mailed to the public interest organization where they will be working.

 

FEATURED POST GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program

The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program offers Fellowships for public interest lawyers from across the United States who are committed to advancing women's rights throughout their careers.  Throughout the Fellowship year, participants gain invaluable experience by working on women's issues in Washington, D.C. with a public interest organization or governmental agency and by participating in educational and professional development opportunities provided by WLPPFP.   The deadline for applications for the 2010-2011 Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program is Monday, November 2, 2009.

 The Fellowships are determined based upon several factors, including the interests of the top Fellowship candidates, the potential placement organizations, and the donors supporting the Fellowships.  Since Program's establishment, WLPPFP has been fortunate to be able to place a Women's Law Fellow each year with the Georgetown University Law Center Domestic Violence Clinic, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the National Women's Law Center - three preeminent women's rights entities in Washington, DC.  The Program periodically offers specially designated Fellowships, such as the Rita Charmatz Davidson Fellowship addressing the rights of low-income women; the Harriet B. Burg Fellowship addressing the rights of women with disabilities; Fellowships focusing on issues concerning women and HIV/AIDS; etc.  All Fellowships provide an incomparable opportunity to work with leaders in the women's legal community, to gain tremendous experience promoting women's rights, and to sharpen leadership and advocacy skills through in-depth training sessions provided by the Program. Applicants should indicate in the appropriate section of the application form whether or not they wish to be considered for Fellowships focusing on specific issues. Indicating interest in more than one issue will not jeopardize a candidate's consideration; on the contrary, doing so may facilitate the Program's ability to match the candidate with a Fellowship. The Fellowship Program makes every effort to accommodate the Fellows' placement preferences. However, the Program cannot guarantee any particular placement organization, even if an applicant has a prior relationship or connection with an organization involved in legal and policy issues affecting women.

All but one of the Fellowships are one-year positions, commencing at the beginning of September and running through the end of August the following year. The Georgetown University Law Center Domestic Violence Clinic Teaching Fellowship is a two-year teaching position commencing at the beginning of August and leading to an LL.M. degree. Applicants for the Domestic Violence Clinic Teaching Fellowship must already be admitted into a bar by December 2008 to permit waiver into the DC Bar before the start of the Fellowship.  Questions specifically about the Domestic Violence Clinical Fellowships may be directed to the Domestic Violence Clinic at 202-662-9640.

All of the Fellows participate in numerous Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program events throughout the Fellowship year, such as an orientation, bi-weekly seminars, skills-building trainings, and other activities organized by the Program. For example, in prior years the Fellows have met with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and other leaders in the legal field addressing women's rights and related social justice issues. The Fellows also have an opportunity to audit courses related to women's rights at the Georgetown University Law Center and to attend other events at the law school. Except for the Domestic Violence Clinic Teaching Fellowship, no law school course work is required and no degree will be awarded.

 Applicants must either be in their final year of law school or be a law school graduate, and must show a demonstrated commitment to advancing women's rights throughout their careers.  Applications must be postmarked by the deadline, and early applications are encouraged.  Fellowship selection will be conducted throughout the spring and summer.  Due to limited staffing and the high volume of applications we receive, we regret that we are unable to notify applicants who are not awarded a Fellowship position, or to respond to questions from applicants (although questions specifically about the Domestic Violence Clinical Fellowships may be directed to the Domestic Violence Clinic at 202-662-9640).  Depending on the availability of funds, approximately six applicants will be awarded Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowships, which will carry a stipend of about $37,500. The placement organizations employ the Fellows and provide standard fringe benefits. WLPPFP may also be able to offer a limited number of non-stipend Fellowships to public interest lawyers focusing on women's rights who have already obtained employment in the Washington, DC area.  The non-stipend Fellowships provide Fellows with the opportunity to participate in all WLPPFP seminars, professional development trainings, and networking events.

Grant for Faculty Research or Teaching in Germany

EUCE/ESC announces the 2009-2010 competition for the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) Grant Program for Faculty Research or Teaching in Germany to help faculty plan and carry out collaborative research or teaching in Germany. The application deadline is October 15, 2009. For more information and application procedures please visit www.ucis.pitt.edu/euce/faculty/funding/Germany.html. Please direct questions to Timothy Thompson, Associate Director, tst@pitt.edu or 412-624-3503.

Princeton Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Princeton Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and selected natural sciences, invites applications for the 2010-2013 fellowship competition. Three three-year postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded this year, including the Open Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. Applications are due by October 1, 2009. For more information on the 2010-2013 Fellowship competition, application form, and guidelines, please visit: www.princeton.edu/~sf/new_fellowships.shtml.

 

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